En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
7 ratings

Saturday - September 29, 2007

From: Kempner, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun, compatible with cedar and wildlife friendly? Also we want a good shade tree for our front.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has these suggestions for plants native to Lampasas County Texas that will benefit wildlife.

Shrubs/Small trees:
The following shrubs or small trees have flowers that attract nectar-feeding insects and hummingbirds, their fruits provide food for a variety of mammals and birds, and their foliage provides nesting sites for birds.

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)


Grasses:
Grasses are especially valuable to wildlife, plus these two are very attractive and will grow in shade and part-shade.

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

There are many choices for a shade tree for your front yard and oaks are always a favorite. Mr. SP recommends that you avoid liveoaks and red oaks since they are particularly susceptible to oak wilt disease. However, there are several oaks for your area that are oak wilt resistant. These are:

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)

Quercus stellata (post oak)

Besides oaks, Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) and Ulmus americana (American elm), are good shade trees and do very well with Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper), also called cedar trees.

If you would like a small tree with spectacular fall colors, you can't go wrong with Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple).


Ilex decidua

Ilex vomitoria

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Frangula caroliniana

Mahonia trifoliolata

Prunus mexicana

Rhus lanceolata

Viburnum rufidulum

Elymus canadensis

Chasmanthium latifolium

 


 


 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shady shrubs for an ugly fence in New Jersey.
June 23, 2011 - What type of tree or shrub can I plant in 07747 NJ to cover an ugly fence that gets little or no sun. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for Waynesville MO
April 09, 2013 - We moved to Waynesville, MO (gardening region 6) and when we bought our house there was a nice looking gardening area in front of the house. It is shaded moderately by a Redwood Tree and was "occupie...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Shrub for Houston, TX
April 24, 2014 - I live in Houston, Texas and would like to plant a flowering shrub 3-6 feet in height. It will get sun to part sun, 2-6 hours daily. I have had azaleas in this area and am now looking for something to...
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs or ground cover for north-facing landscape in Ft. Worth
March 23, 2010 - Need native plant ideas for a landscaping bed against the house facing north. Already has 1 Beautyberry but two others died of root rot last year due to incredibly high water table in our area. Old ...
view the full question and answer

What shade trees and shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa?
February 09, 2009 - I need to know what shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs and flowering shrubs are safe to plant around horses in Iowa. thanks
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center